What’s Soccer Legend Johan Neeskens Doing In Mumbai?

Johan Neeskens, one of the finest midfielders football has seen, is in Mumbai this week in connection with the World Coaches Programme.

The World Coaches Programme, designed by the Dutch football federation, will conduct courses for coaches in Kerala and Mumbai, in collaboration with their India partners, Acosa Sports and Infrastructure.

Neeskens, who featured in two consecutive World Cup finals (1974, 1978), was the first Dutch player ever to score in a World Cup final.

The former Ajax and Barcelona star brings with him two experienced colleagues to Mumbai for the five-day course at the Cooperage football ground in south Mumbai.


“We are very happy to be back in Maharashtra. In December 2019 I was here myself as instructor of World Coaches and in those days we were hoping to intensify the coaching education,” says Neeskens.

KNVB is a well-known partner of Indian football, having a cooperation agreement with the All India Football Federation on various aspects of development of football and also with the Indian states under the memorandum of understanding which was signed in 2014 between the Sports Authority of India and the Dutch ministry of welfare and sports.

“In the meantime, the world was closed due to the pandemic. Now it is time that the youth in India, boys and girls, come back to the field and that they are trained by well educated coaches, who do not only look at performance on the field, but also look at the well-being of children and guidance off the field.”


“A partnership with a football state like Maharashtra, Mumbai fits perfectly in our international strategy, where we want to be seen as an innovative association, looking for impact and working for the future of football,” Neeskens added.


“Football is all about collaboration and communication, about fair play, respect for diversity and dealing with frustrations,” says Johan van Geijn of KNVB, which has been working with India since 2006 when KNVB did a first course in Mumbai for the local coaches of Magic Bus.

“We can inform children on healthy lifestyle and teach social skills to our children in a fun way through football, which will benefit them in all aspects of their life.”


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